Batley firm sentenced after death of employee
A waste recycling firm has been sentenced after admitting safety failings related to a worker being killed at its premises in Batley in 2012, when he was found lying seriously injured at the bottom of a horizontal baling machine.
It seems likely the worker was fatally injured while clearing a blockage with a steel pole, when he fell into the baling machine’s hopper resulting in his legs being partially severed inside the machine which had to be amputated by a doctor at the scene, however the injured father of six died two days later.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the machine was operational at the time, therefore it is likely that by the worker falling into the hopper this cleared the blockage, causing the machine to automatically restart.
A Prohibition Notice was served on the company on the day of the incident prohibiting use of the baler involved due to the guarding deficiencies allowing access to dangerous parts. An Improvement Notice was also served requiring the company to provide systems of work for all foreseeable interventions on the baler.
The court hearing heard that failings at the company’s premises were systemic, and that health and safety management systems fell far short of what was required with management failing to ensure that long standing actions from risk assessments were implemented or that safe working practices for clearing blockages were put in place.
The business was fined £80,000 with costs of £40,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.